DALLAS (AP) — A police officer shot and wounded a man Friday outside a Dallas airport after the man attacked a woman believed to be the mother of his children and then threatened the officer with large rocks, police said.
Police Chief David Brown said Shawn Nicholas Diamond of Edgewood, Maryland, advanced menacingly with a rock in each hand toward an officer who had his gun drawn outside the Dallas Love Field terminal Friday, telling the officer, “You’re going to have to shoot.”
Diamond was in stable condition at a Dallas hospital, Brown said at a news conference.
The chief said Diamond’s ex-girlfriend was driving him to the airport for a flight home when he hit her. After arriving at the airport terminal, he said, Diamond was pulling his luggage from the woman’s car when he grabbed a traffic cone, smashed the car’s windshield with it, then began picking up large landscaping rocks nearby and hurling them through the car’s windows.
Silent surveillance video showed a police officer intervening and aiming his handgun at Diamond when he began advancing menacingly with a rock in each hand. When Diamond darted around the officer, the officer shot him and ordered him to stay down, Brown said.
The officer fired several more shots when Diamond got up and began running. Another officer is seen on the video brandishing a stun gun but apparently never fired it.
The officer who shot Diamond has been removed from patrol duty pending an internal review of the shooting, Brown said. However, “the video is pretty telling,” the chief said.
Diamond had left his job in Maryland on Monday and flown to Dallas to visit his ex-girlfriend. He was arrested Thursday in the Dallas suburb of Carrollton and charged with criminal mischief after destroying city-owned trees valued at $3,700 by driving recklessly, Carrollton police spokeswoman Jolene DeVito said. Diamond was booked into Denton County Jail and released on bond Friday.
A video posted by Instagram user @flashyfilms— and credited to Bryan Armstrong also shows the commotion on the curb outside baggage claim at Dallas Love Field. Amid the sound of nine gunshots and an officer’s shouts to “get down,” some people scramble while others stand watching before officers order them back inside. Toward the end of the video, one officer is seen pointing his gun at someone near the glass exterior of the airport.
Officials said one bullet hit an exterior glass wall and the rest hit the suspect. Dallas police Sgt. Mike Beattie, who is stationed at Love Field, says that the bullet that hit the glass wall outside the airport’s baggage claim area didn’t penetrate it because of the protective film. One officer at the scene, who would not be named, said he was told that the victim “absorbed” all the other bullets.
Beattie said airport police receive specific training to be attentive to suspicious-looking travelers and that the Dallas Police Department provides “crowded-environment training” to all its officers every two years. Beattie said the officer who fired the shots is a Dallas police veteran, but he would not identify him.
Some airport operations were temporarily disrupted, but the airport remained open. Spokesman Jose Torres said that some people after hearing shots ran through security so everyone had to be rescreened.
Security checkpoint operations were back to normal Friday afternoon, airport officials said. Flights were departing but with many delays.
Traveler Lucinda Fonseca told WFAA-TV that she and her husband were coming out of the baggage claim area when they saw police approaching the man throwing rocks and one of the officers drew a gun.
“The man was yelling at the cops, basically saying ‘shoot me shoot me, I dare you,’ something to that effect,” Fonseca said, adding she then heard gunfire.
“I crouched down on the ground,” she said. “I didn’t know where the bullets were going.”
Southwest Airlines, the dominant airline at Love Field, said in a statement that they were working with air traffic controllers nationwide to manage inbound flights. According to the flight-tracking website FlightAware, at least eight flights operated by Southwest and one by Virgin America were diverted to other airports.
Beattie said this is the first shooting in the 89-year history of Love Field, located a few miles from downtown.
The story has been corrected to fix the spelling of Blankenbaker’s name in one reference.
Associated Press writers Diana Heidgerd, Jamie Stengle and Terry Wallace contributed to this report.